Editorial: Week's end

May. 24, 2013 @ 05:15 PM

Every year for the past 20 years, the Rev. Philip Cousin Jr. lived with the prospect that he might be shifted away from St. Joseph African Methodist Episcopal Church in Durham.

“It’s kind of a combination of military and corporate America,” Cousin told The Herald-Sun’s Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan earlier this week. “Being assigned to a new church is always a possibility.”

Yet, for a good long while, the years came and went as Cousin ingrained himself deeply in the social and political strata of the Bull City.

He served on the Durham Public Schools Board of Education from 1996 to 2000. For several years, he also served on the Board of County Commissioners. In 2011, he was elected chairman of the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People.

He made himself an integral part of our community.

And now, just like that, this week’s end he’s thousands of miles away – a coast apart – preaching from a new pulpit at Bethel A.M.E. in San Francisco, the oldest African-American church in the city.

The call came with just 72 hours notice.

But we doubt we’ve seen the last of him. Cousin said he’s keeping the family house here.

“My wife and I are thinking Durham is always home,” he said.



He’s certainly got the right name for the job.

Downtown Durham Inc. this week announced that Geoffrey Durham will succeed Bill Kalkhof, the recently retired first president of DDI.

Durham, a 42-year-old who has more than a decade of experience in economic development strategy, currently works for the city of Fairfax, Va. In July, he takes the helm of an organization that has helped bring $1 billion of investment to Durham since 1992.

“We are thrilled that Geoff Durham will be leading Downtown Durham, Inc. in the future,” stated Joni Madison, chair of the DDI search committee, in a statement. “He has proven experience in economic development, downtown revitalization and how to construct strong public and private partnerships.”



Two Duke University athletes found themselves in the chaos of the devastating tornado that struck Oklahoma earlier this week.

Soccer player Ana Hunt waited out the storm with relatives in a special safe room attached to the side of her family’s home in Moore.

“They always say it sounds like a train,” Hunt told The Herald-Sun’s Steve Wiseman. “But it sounded like a train was going through our house.”

Richa Jackson, a Duke basketball player who lives in nearby Midwest City, was visiting a cousin in Moore when the tornado’s winds tore through town.

Both survived the experience, although Hunt’s house was obliterated.

For holding it together and making it through a terrifying crisis, Hunt and Jackson – and their friends, family and neighbors in storm-battered Oklahoma – all deserve our Grit Award this week.